Gardening Articles: Landscaping :: Yard & Garden Planning

Landscape Fabrics (page 2 of 2)

by Charlie Nardozzi

Getting the Best Fabric

There are many landscape fabric brands available to homeowners. In Appleton's studies, the best brands for suppressing weed growth were the ones with the smallest-sized pores (spaces between the fabric fibers). "We feel the small pore spaces didn't allow weed or tree roots to penetrate and ge a foothold in the fabric," says Appleton. Short of asking the manufacturer for its fabric's pore space size, a simple test a home gardener can use to rate landscape fabrics is to raise the different brands up to the light and see how much light shines through. "The less light, the smaller the pore spaces and probably the less weed growth with that fabric," notes Appleton. "We found the Weed-X brand to have the smallest-sized pore spaces of all the fabrics tested. It also had the least amount of root penetration from weeds and nearby trees," she reports. "Another brand that performed well was Dewitt's Weed Barrier."

Future Fabrics

The latest research in landscape fabrics is creating a new generation of treated fabrics that are even more effective in controlling weeds regardless of the types and depth of the mulch. "The fabric I'm most excited about is a nonwoven landscape fabric impregnated with copper," says Appleton. "Whenever tree or weed roots come in contact with the copper, they're essentially stunted, thus making the fabrics last even longer." Look for this new product this summer.

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